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June 20, 2008

Is criticism of Atlantic Center mall just 20/20 hindsight? (Nope)

Atlantic Yards Report

Here's our Snarky Friday synopsis of today's posting by Norman Oder:

Yesterday, amNY ranked Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Center Mall #6 on the paper's list of fugly-assed buildings the city could do without.

Atlantic Yards Cheerleader in Chief Marty Markowitz recently gave his pal Bruce a pass, because what clearly ranks as one of the worst malls ever, was built during the era where developers weren't ready to invest heavily in Brooklyn, because Brooklyn was... skeery.

Even Bruce famously said, "Here you’re in an urban area, you’re next to projects, you’ve got tough kids.”

In the end, he has no one to blame but himself.

Ultimately, however, even Bruce Ratner blames the bad design on himself, not inexorable external forces, as New York magazine's Kurt Andersen wrote in an 11/20/05 column:

Until now, most of Ratner’s buildings have ranged from the uninspired to the bad, like his shopping center across from the Atlantic Yards. Even he admits the Atlantic Center mall is “not up to snuff. Philip Johnson did a first design, but I made a decision not to use him. I have to blame myself. I’ve been talking for ten years about trying to use ‘design architects’ instead of ‘developer architects.'"

In other words, it was a bottom-line decision that could have gone another way.


Posted by lumi at June 20, 2008 4:56 AM